Spending time with our families is one of the single most important things we can do for our children and each other. At one time, many years ago in a seemingly different era, family time meant sitting down at the dinner table, sharing not only a meal but also stories from the day. Whether the topic was school, work or other events, families were connecting and communicating with each other.
Today, our lives are fast paced and rounding up the entire family in one room can be quite the adventure in itself. Our communication with each other is nearly all electronic because we have streamlined our family time. Instead of a voice call on the telephone, it’s a simple text. Instead of television time together as a family, members have televisions in their own room, or stream Netflix through their iPod, Smart phone, computer or gaming console.
When we do assemble the entire family in the same room, how many handheld devices come with them? Families can sit in the living room and never utter a word to each other. I was taken aback not too long ago when a friend of mine was telling me a story about her two teens sitting at the dinner table carrying on conversations with their friends via text, not communicating at all with members of their own family. She is saddened because electronics have taken over their lives. I was saddened because as parents, there are steps we can take to pull our children out of the virtual world and back to reality and many of us simply do not.
To cut out electronics entirely, is simply not the answer. The convenience is something I simply cannot dismiss, and I could not work from home and on the road without them. Yes, my children have smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles and hand held gaming devices etc….and they utilize them often. However, there are rules. There are times when they are permissible, there are times when they are not. Meal time is a no electronics zone. Period.
We have merged the “electronics free zone” in to another area as well. One of the new implementations during our week is game night. The television is off, phones are set to silent and left untouched while we pull out a game, set it up on the table, gather round and set out on an adventure to clobber each other in board game land. This new addition to our week came about through an interesting venue.
When one of my favorite television programs aired an episode where one of the co-founders was leaving the show to spend time with his family and pursue other adventures, I among countless others, was very curious as to what the other ventures could be. I was delighted to read what was going to be next in the life of him and his family.
Grant Wilson, co-founder of The North Atlantic Paranormal Society (Taps) and lead investigator opposite Jason Hawes of ScyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters, began his next life’s journey as Art Director and Vice President of the board game company, Rather Dashing Games. He is part of a great team of talents who accompany and complement each other on this adventure.
Rather Dashing Games came out of the starting gate with three games to delight those of all ages. Four Taverns which is a family friendly adventure for 2 – 4 players , ages 12 and up. It is an adventurous quest to become the best known tavern in the land, competing against your opponents. Complete quests, fight dragons, hire warriors and go up against wizards and more. The entire family can use their imagination and plot against each other. Quality family time. This piece of adventure is $29.99
X-Marks the Spot is a tile-based strategy game, where you work on creating your own X, but is it your own or are you unknowingly assisting your foe in the construction of his or her X? Be one of four real life pirates working through layers of strategy. Game Type: Abstract Strategy with 2 – 4 players, ages 10 and up. This adventure on the high seas is $19.99
Red Hot Silly Peppers is an educational and entertaining card game of subtraction and addition. Parents can help them set the game up and watch them learn while having a great time playing with each other. Game Type: Math/Party/Education with 2 – 5 players of the ages 7 and up. $14.99 to keep the little ones entertained and busy for 10 – 20 minutes per play.
There is a new game in the works Tanks which should make its debut in the spring and Grant and Michael have a dozen plus on the drawing board for future release.
The family and I have decided on X-Marks the Spot and Four Taverns to begin our gaming adventures. While doing research on these games and their origin, I asked Grant Wilson if he was interested in participating in the article with a small Q&A. I was delighted by his gracious manner as I read his reply “I am all for it!…” as he agreed to a light Q & A.
KE When designing artwork for the games how do you begin the creative design process , where does your inspiration for each one begin?
GW Mike Richie can get inspired by anything really, a song, a walk through the park, or even just what pops into his head. He then shares that idea with me. As he pours out mechanics and math, I shoot back with art ideas and the “feel” of the game. We are sort of a hive mind, so we see things the same way almost instantly. We are really good about letting the best idea rise to the top without selfish pride getting in the way.
KE At GenCon 2012, it was said that Tanks will be released in the spring with a dozen or so other games on the board. What age group is Tank aimed for and can we expect any other games to release later in the year in time for the holiday season?
GW Tanks was aimed for around 10 and up. It really is a game for all ages. But we may decide to put Tanks for Playing on hold in lieu of another game for which we are even more excited! We will be revealing it within the next few months.
KE There are many companies out there with family favorite board games that have been around for generations. They are fun, much loved games, however, with today’s media, for example, Ghost Hunters, as well as Facebook, Twitter etc….people have caught glimpse of the man behind the games vs the large conglomerates that have massed produced games for decades. Do you feel this gives your team an edge?
GW Well, the table-top gaming field is an interesting one. There actually is virtually no direct competition. We are all fighting a little bit against everything else in a person’s life in order to just get you to sit down and play a game. With that mindset, any game sold by any company truly helps us all. Having been on Ghost Hunters does give us a slight advantage. People might actually stop and see what Rather Dashing Games has to offer because they recognize my face, but they stay and buy them because they truly enjoy them. We worked very hard to make sure the company stands on its own two feet, rather than resting on the crutch of my fan-base.
KE People look at your choice to leave a television show where you and Jason created the legacy of Ghost Hunters, to pursue another path for something you love, with awe and respect. You not only followed your dreams, captured them and made them reality, but you achieved this with your wife and friends as team members in the process. It is inspiring to see a man with some life experience behind him, completely reinvent himself and achieve his hearts’ desire. Do you have any advice for folks out there who have a dream they are hesitant to follow?
GW I love the quote, “If you don’t build your own dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs”. Obviously, you want to make that leap when it makes sense, but you haven’t truly lived until you are living your dream. Make every action of every day bring you one step closer to achieving it. I don’t really feel like I have reinvented myself, as much as I feel I have gotten back to myself.
KE Family life can get hectic what is your secret to keep you and your family sane in the middle of the energetic business world?
GW This may sound odd coming from someone who was on a reality TV show but the best advice I have is to turn off the TV. If you give up TV for one week, you will be amazed at how much time you have, at how much you can get done. Heaven forbid, you may actually turn and talk to your family. Other than that we do everything together, we support each other, laugh and cry together. We are one unit.
KE I have been scouring the gaming sites for reviews on your team’s games. They are definitely favorable and people are having a great time playing them. My own three will be receiving Four Taverns and X-Marks the spot to add to our family gaming based upon the favorable reviews on these sites. Do you have review links you would like added to the article?
GW HA! That is great! Please let us know if you have any questions! I don’t particularly have any reviews to add, but if people want to leave reviews, please do so on any site you may find the ability to leave a review!
KE My children and I have always liked your gentle demeanor on GH and I applaud the path you have chosen with your family and teammates. Thank you for showing the world a small piece of yourself the past few years.
GW Thank you so much!!